Rikers Island inmate dies of COVID on same day judge grants him emergency release – .

Rikers Island inmate dies of COVID on same day judge grants him emergency release – .

RIKERS ISLAND (WABC) – Victor Mercado, 64, had been awaiting his arms trial since last July. Mercado tested positive for COVID last week at the Rikers infirmary and died on Friday.
Mercado’s girlfriend, Tammy Echevarria remembers her sweet side. He was very loving, very loving and caring… he talked to all the kids and looked after them and made sure they were okay. Even children who did not have a father, he would take care of them and make sure they had enough to eat. “

Mercado became the 13th death in custody on Rikers Island. He was awaiting trial on charges of weapons and criminal possession of a controlled substance. His bond was set at $ 100,000.

Echevarria spoke to him on the phone three days before his death.

“He was scared and he didn’t want to tell me because that’s the kind of person he is. He didn’t want me to worry, ”she said.

Last month, Mercado’s family and lawyer pleaded for a lower bond, knowing he was in poor health, fearing this could happen.
On Thursday he was transferred to Elmhurst hospital as his condition worsened, and at noon on Friday a judge granted his parole. About an hour later, he passed away. Mercado entered the city’s prison system at a time when conditions in Rikers rapidly deteriorated. It was dangerously overcrowded, dirty and sorely understaffed.

“It didn’t have to happen. And at the same time, knowing that his health wasn’t that bad either, ”said Echevarria,“ And put him in a home, that’s it. For his age and health – they killed him, they killed him. “

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